5 technology trends reshaping the fashion industry
Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and that growth is exponential. Think of the time between the first mobile phones and the first iPhone. Now think about how Apple brings out several versions of a phone every year.
Everyone and everything is susceptible to the influence of technology, and as things become smaller, faster and cheaper, this has a knock-on effect on the world and the fashion industry is no exception.
Looking ahead to the next few years we can take a look at what companies are working on at the moment, or at the very least speculate about what’s down the road for the fashion industry when it comes to technology trends.
Alternative materials and fabrics
Many designers and manufacturers are looking into alternative ways to create apparel, and it’s not hard to see why.
It takes a ridiculous 10 thousand litres of fresh water to make single a pair of jeans. Any material that cuts down on this is welcomed by everyone in the industry, including consumers.
There are several attempts being made to make fabrics from non-harmful sources that are more sustainable. The US company Bolt Threads has created MYLO, a lab-grown leather that has the backing of some big players such as Stella McCartney, whose own company is investing in the development of synthetic like spider silk.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things describes all the little technologies we have that can “talk” to each other.
When it comes to apparel, smart clothing might be the next big thing.
Everything from inventory management, security, productivity, data sharing, and increased efficiency can be made easier and play a larger role through technology that allows information to be exchanged freely and immediately.
The health sector and the apparel industry can both benefit from this new trend. Clothes that monitor heart rate and blood pressure already exist, while pioneering companies are looking even further ahead with powered suits that help the elderly get up and move about.
Virtual reality and the Metaverse
Whether you like it or not, the Metaverse is coming.
Virtual fashion shows are already happening in the virtual world, with Decentraland hosting a 4-day digital fashion week complete with virtual shows, stores and events next month. Dozens of global brands and thousands of visitors are able to virtually experience the fashion show as if they were physically there, and order anything they like for delivery.
But the Metaverse doesn’t only deal in physical clothing.
Digital clothes are now a big business, with people paying good money to dress their virtual characters in a make-believe reality.
Digital printing has reduced drastically in price, allowing people to design and create things for themselves at home.
On the horizon for the apparel industry is digital knitting, the same principle as 3D printing but with fabrics.
Creating bespoke garments drastically reduces waste and is far less labour-intensive than traditional manufacturing, with on-demand garments reducing fabric waste by over a third.
It’s easy to foresee a future where consumers sit at home, download a design for a dress, tweak it to their exact measurements, and then simply print it out.
AI (artificial intelligence)
It would be difficult to find a leading brand now that doesn’t have a chatbot on its website.
AI is gaining momentum, and as algorithms become more advanced, consumer data gathered in staggering amounts, and customer desires more targeted, it’s obviously going to play a bigger role in the future of online shopping.
And it’s not just about selling. AI can help with everything from inventory tracking to warehouse management. It’s also already used for trend forecasting, giving designers and brands a heads-up of what the next big thing might be.
Are you ready for the technology trends of the future?
The inevitable march of technology needn’t be as terrifying as it sounds. It’s commonplace now to order a pizza online, whereas even 10 years ago that seemed like something only nerds would attempt.
The world has changed so much in the past decade, and the focus of the customer has shifted from ‘on-shelf availability’ to ‘on-demand availability’. It’s difficult to predict where we’ll be in another 10 years, but for the next 3-5 years we can safely say what we expect to happen.
Here at immago, we are constantly keeping up to date with the latest technology trends, ready to help our clients deal with any issues that might arise.
We have survived 50 years in the business by keeping up with the latest news and trends, always flexible enough to change with the times but remaining true to our ideals and promises.
Whether you’re a designer, manufacturer, or anything in between, we can help you adapt to any technology that develops in the industry.
Contact us today if you would like to know more about how we can help your business. Our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to help in any way they can.